Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

The Civil War in Pictures

The Civil War was, and remains, the bloodiest conflict U.S. soil has ever seen. Some 625,000 people died, and many more returned from the killing fields as amputees. Women began placing spring flowers on the graves—and in some cases, still-unburied bodies—of fallen soldiers the very year after the war, a springtime commemoration that sowed the seeds for what we know as Memorial Day.

In remembrance, a handful of moments and faces (some famous, some forgotten) from the first modern war. For more, see the Library of Congress’s trove of over 7,000 digitized images, or the Met’s current exhibition on on the subject.

Going to Battle

Officers, 71st Regiment, New York Infantry / Mathew B. Brady

Officers, 71st Regiment, New York Infantry, 1861, Mathew B. Brady. Albumen silver print, 11 x 14 5/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XM.479.35

The President

President Lincoln, Maj. Gen. McClernand, and E. J. Allen, Chief of S.S.U.S., Secret Service Department, at the Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, near Antietam / Alexander Gardner

President Lincoln, Maj. Gen. McClernand, and E. J. Allen, Chief of S.S.U.S., Secret Service Department, at the Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, near Antietam, October 4, 1862, Alexander Gardner. Albumen silver print, 8 5/8 x 7 3/4 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XM.482.1

The General

Robert E. Lee / Matthew B. Brady

Robert E. Lee, April 16, 1865, Matthew B. Brady. Albumen silver print, 8 3/16 x 6 1/4 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XM.479.12

The General’s Wife

General George Brinton McClellan and His Wife / Charles DeForest Fredricks

General George Brinton McClellan and His Wife, 1862, Charles DeForest Fredricks. Albumen silver print, 3 9/16 x 2 1/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XD.1157.100

Forgottens

Portrait of Union Civil War General / unknown photographer

Portrait of Union Civil War General, about 1862, unknown photographer. Hand-colored salted paper print, 9 x 6 13/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2004.113

Portrait of a Confederate Soldier/ unknown photographer

Portrait of a Confederate Soldier, about 1862, unknown photographer. Hand-colored ambrotype, 2 9/16 x 2 1/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XT.818.16

Slaves

Slaves of General Thomas F. Drayton / Henry P. Moore

Slaves of General Thomas F. Drayton, 1862, Henry P. Moore. Albumen silver print, 5 1/8 x 8 3/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XM.483.25

The Dead

A Harvest of Death / Timothy H. O'Sullivan

A Harvest of Death, July 4, 1863, Timothy H. O’Sullivan; print, 1866, by Alexander Gardner. Albumen silver print, 7 x 8 11/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XO.1232.1.36

Aftermath

Ruins in Charleston, South Carolina / George N. Barnard

Ruins in Charleston, South Carolina, negative about 1865; print 1866, George N. Barnard. Albumen silver print, 10 1/16 x 14 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XM.468.60

Getty Voices, normally found on The Iris each Monday, resumes Tuesday in observance of Memorial Day.

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      Olympian Census #4: Aphrodite

      Get the stats on your favorite (and not-so-favorite) gods and goddesses on view at the Getty Center.

      Roman name: Venus

      Employment: Goddess of Love and Beauty

      Place of residence: Mount Olympus

      Parents: Born out of sea foam formed when Uranus’s castrated genitals were thrown into the ocean

      Marital status: Married to Hephaestus, the God of Blacksmiths, but had many lovers, both immortal and mortal

      Offspring: Aeneas, Cupid, Eros, Harmonia, Hermaphroditos, and more

      Symbol: Dove, swan, and roses

      Special talent: Being beautiful and sexy could never have been easier for this Greek goddess

      Highlights reel:

      • Zeus knew she was trouble when she walked in (Sorry, Taylor Swift) to Mount Olympus for the first time. So Zeus married Aphrodite to his son Hephaestus (Vulcan), forming the perfect “Beauty and the Beast” couple.
      • When Aphrodite and Persephone, the queen of the underworld, both fell in love with the beautiful mortal boy Adonis, Zeus gave Adonis the choice to live with one goddess for 1/3 of the year and the other for 2/3. Adonis chose to live with Aphrodite longer, only to die young.
      • Aphrodite offered Helen, the most beautiful mortal woman, to Paris, a Trojan prince, to win the Golden Apple from him over Hera and Athena. She just conveniently forgot the fact that Helen was already married. Oops. Hello, Trojan War!

      Olympian Census is a 12-part series profiling gods in art at the Getty Center.

      08/03/15

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